His favorite memories of the Derner Institute include close personal contact with faculty and classes on diagnosis and treatment.
Member of Adelphi University’s Profiles in Success program.
Favorite professor: “George Stricker, a man of quiet passion, was my mentor, my thesis adviser and my friend.”
Advice to Derner students: “Network with as many people as you can. Stay involved in research in your field. Give back to the community.”
Dedicated to Helping, When Help is Needed Most
Dr. John Chabot credits the well-known group interview as his first meaningful Derner experience. His favorite memories of the Gordon F. Derner Institute include close personal contact with professors, advisors, and supervisors, as well as his classes on diagnosis and treatment. His doctoral thesis involved the development and validation of a scale to measure personal autonomy, the degree to which people feel they control their choices in life.
In a diverse career, he has held positions at the Northport Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Sagamore Children’s Center, the Community Health Plan of Suffolk, and Melville House, a residential home for adolescent boys. Moving around is a familiar mode for Dr. Chabot. His family relocated quite often during his childhood, an experience that taught him to meet new people easily – apt preparation for his current career.
After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Occidental College in Los Angeles, California, Dr. Chabot was drafted and stationed with the United States Army in Germany. He served from 1968 to 1970, the height of the Vietnam Era, an experience that made his later time at the Northport VA hospital particularly sobering
“These were guys my age,” he says. “I ran counseling groups for vets suffering from post-traumatic stress disorders.”
Later that decade, Dr. Chabot started his own private practice to gain more latitude in his clinical work. His first book, A New Lease on Life, was based on his interviews with eight suicide attempt survivors. His research documented that for many survivors the repercussions of their attempts lasted for many years, and often led to an increased spiritual awareness in their lives and a need to give back by helping others.
“I wanted to learn from these intriguing people,” he says. “I wanted to understand how their rescue from death had changed them, to learn how they coped with their second chance at life.”
Dr. Chabot continues to work with patients facing emotional, physical and interpersonal stress, specializing in helping people who are facing medical illness. His research, writing and clinical experience has focused particularly on somatizing patterns. “Many people manifest their psychological problems through physical illness,” he says. “I created and researched an experimental stress management program that reduced healthcare utilization rates by half in an outpatient medical population.”
Currently, Dr. Chabot is researching a new book tentatively titled “Faith, Fear and Freedom,” which explores how people utilize their spiritual beliefs to help them overcome fear and create more opportunities for freedom in their lives.
Since 1999, Dr. Chabot has served on the administrative board of the Lutheran Counseling Center, a faith-based pastoral counseling center, and has been chairman of the board for the past three years. He continues to be an active supporter and charity fund- raiser for the annual St. Luke’s Golf Tournament.
Dr. Chabot has also been active within the Derner Institute. For many years, he has taught a course in health psychology third-year Ph.D. students, served on thesis committees, and conducted presentations, seminars and workshops at various professional meetings, including the annual convention of the American Psychological Association.
Dr. Chabot and his wife Marcia, an environmental educator, live in Dix Hills, New York. His two daughters have continued the family’s tradition of care-giving. His oldest daughter, Kim, is a speech therapist living in North Carolina with her husband and two children, while his youngest daughter, Amy, serves with her husband and four children as missionaries to indigenous peoples in Indonesia. When he’s not working, Dr. Chabot enjoys golf, skiing, hiking, sailing, photography, painting, and traveling to spend time with his six grandchildren.
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